World Tuberculosis Day observed at Arunachal
- 24th March 2023 at Rajiv Gandhi University -


 World Tuberculosis Day observed at Arunachal
World Tuberculosis Day observed at Arunachal

District Health Society (NTEP) Papumpare in collaboration with DHS (NHM), ICC, Naharlagun & Department of Social Work, RGU observed the World TB Day 2023 at RGU. The program was graced by Shri Tana Hali Tara, MLA, Doimukh-14 Assembly Constituency as the Chief Guest. Dr. PD Thongchi, DTO, Naharlagun delivered the Welcome address and administered TB pledge to fight against the deadly disease. It was noted that health workers alone cannot eliminate TB alone but it requires cooperation from the public as well.

The target of eliminating TB by 2025 at national level as dream of PM Narendra Modi, five years ahead of global target 2030 was highlighted. Dr. Tongchi administered the TB Free India Pledge highlighting the resolve of Government of India to stop TB, protect everyone, to inspire people to take precautions and end TB altogether. Theme song “Lakhsya tho pana hai, har hal mei pana hai” by students of Arunachal State Nursing College was performed on the occasion.

Food Baskets were handed over to 10 TB patients who were adopted by the Hon’ble MLA Tana Hali Tara. Hon’ble MLA Tana Hali congratulated the Health Department of the State and thanked all the organisers. He said that TB in a way was a boon as one has to take care of their health once they are diagnosed with it and in a way decide their death rather than dying untimely. He emphasised on the importance of cleanliness, timely eating to have a good health and life. He believes in the saying that “health is lost everything is lost”. He also promised to provide land for establishing a TB Care Centre in Doimukh.

He also praised Hon’ble PM and Hon’ble CM for leading India as a Vishwa Guru and Arunachal as a frontier state in health sector. It was acknowledged by the Chief Guest Shri Tana Hali Tara that the day is not only an opportunity for us to enlighten the masses about the ill effects of Tuberculosis but also make them aware about all the preventive measures so as to empower them to stay healthy.

Prof. Saket Kushwaha, Vice Chancellor, RGU conveyed his message on the history of TB and about the origin of the celebration of World TB Day on 24th March 1982, 100 years after the discovery by Dr. Robert Koch of mycobacterium causing TB. He further highlighted that World TB Day is dedicated to inform-educate, communicate & equip the masses against the damages and dangers of Tuberculosis around the world.

The data released by World Health Organisation only during 2021, 10.6 million people fell ill with TB and also, 1.6 million people died of it, is a testimony to the gravity of the issue and critical relevance of observing this Day.

The theme of World TB Day 2023 as - Yes! We can end TB! – was acknowledged to be opportune and rightly aimed at instilling hope as well as encourage individuals, institutions and stakeholders for accelerated actions, and multisectoral collaboration to combat the TB epidemic. It is worrisome that despite all the knowledge and modernity, TB continues to be a ‘Stigma Disease’ to a great extent, even today.

 World Tuberculosis Day observed at Arunachal
World Tuberculosis Day observed at Arunachal

Prof. Kushwaha announced to adopt two TB patients under Nikshay Mitra. The Vice Chancellor highlighted that Rajiv Gandhi University together with its ever rising pursuit of excellence in research and education, has been pro-actively and empathetically engaged in fulfilling its social responsibilities by reaching out the unreached.

Vice Chancellor in-charge Prof. P.K. Panigrahi brought to the fore that we have been marching towards excellence by making continuous and rigorous efforts to disseminate knowledge, promote innovative research and engage meaningfully with all the stakeholders towards establishing an equitable society that transcends knowledge beyond all boundaries. In order to achieve these non-negotiable priorities, the need to work together and eradicate the disease from the society by sharing all necessary information among the people, as, prevention is always better than the cure was reiterated.

Dr. Thongchi spoke about the National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) launched on 1997 in India and in Arunachal Pradesh on 22 September, 2002. Through this program, the paradigm was shifted from patient to health worker. The whole responsibility was given to health worker with the following 5 points:

1. Good Political & administrative commitment, where over all responsibilities were given to administration and political responsibility to involve the general public in the program
2. Sufficient fund flow for uninterrupted procurement of good quality medicines and logistic with patient wise boxes for full course.
3. Good quality diagnostic tools emphasising more on sputum microscopy.
4. Systematic follow-up of the patient and default retrieval of patients up to their homes.
5. Development of robust supervision, monitoring and reporting system.

He further informed about Nikshay 2.0 an online portal to search TB patient who is under TB diagnosis for additional support under PM TB Mukt Bharat Abhigyan. He emphasised all the audience to help TB patient by adopting TB patient to support them financially and requested everyone to start adopting TB patient. Early Immunisation with BCG, Regular Medical Check Up, Maintain Hygiene (Personal Immunity, environment, cough hygiene etc.), Adequate Rest at least 4-6 hours a day, Regular exercise and eating balance diet was informed as the key to combat TB.

Dr. Kabak Tamar, Medical Officer TB Control, Itanagar highlighted the gap in the numbers of Tb patients registered which was 495, the donors which was 67 and the number food basket was only 22. He requested people to be cooperative whenever the health supporters visited them in door-to-door survey for TB. He asked people to pass the information on Nikshay Mitra to influential people to help the poor and the underprivileged TB patients.

Three TB Patient shared their experience on how they were diagnosed and successfully survived TB with the help of government incentives and emphasised on the importance of taking medicine on time.

Prof. Sarit K Chaudhuri, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences spoke about the responsibility of RGU as a higher institute to spread awareness about TB. And said that health is not just a biological connotation but that it is about Community taking smaller initiative and thus emphasised on the collective initiative to eliminate TB. The day was highlighted as an opportunity to organize stakeholders for future progress by eliminating TB as a public health disorder by Prof. S.K. Chaudhuri.

Prof NT Rikam, the Registrar, RGU emphasized that everyone should participate in spreading awareness about TB. The community and society as a whole should take up the responsibility to prevent and cure TB. Should create ample awareness about the disease, it has to be done persistently. He thanked the organisers for having conducted the program in the campus and asked all of us to multiply the message. Registrar, Dr. N.T. Rikam highlighted the relevance of reaching out the unreached and vulnerable population.

Prof P K Panigrahi VC i/c delivered the concluding remarks. He said that observing TB for a day is not enough as it is a disease to which stigma is attached. So, he asserted that besides observing the day he said there is a need for socio-cultural movements as the disease has been stigmatised since long. The message that TB is curable needs to spread far and wide so that all of us may be able to overcome TB just like we got rid of small pox and polio. Considering the population of Arunachal, he said that it would be easy to eradicate TB if students, NGOs and Student Units of different part of State come together.

The program witnessed two Skit Plays One from Social Work Trainees, Department of Social Work, RGU with a message on becoming Mitra (donor) adopting TB patient under the program Nikshay Mitra Program and another one by Nursing College, TRIHMS on the Do’s and the Don’ts of TB. Dr. Ravi Ranjan Kumar, Head i/c Department of Social Work coordinated the programme at RGU while the event was moderated by Dr. Kabak Tamar, Medical Officer TB Control, Itanagar. The programme was attended by over 150 participants from RGU, nursing colleges and personnel as well as beneficiaries from Health Department.

* This info was sent to by Dr. Ravi Ranjan Kumar (Department of Social Work, Rajiv Gandhi (Central) University) who can be contacted at ravi(DOT)ranjan(AT)rgu(DOT)ac(DOT)in
This article was posted on March 25, 2023 .

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